LOS ANGELES--Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, December 10, seven days before the Washington Redskins play the Cardinals at FedEx Field.
Today’s schedule: Redskins Kickoff 3 p.m., NBC Sports Washington; Redskins vs. Chargers, FOX, 4:05
—Cardinals @ Redskins (12/17) 7
—Broncos @ Redskins Christmas Eve (12/24) 14
—NFL Draft (4/26/18) 137
Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Chargers
AFC vs NFC: Is the one-game difference between the 6-6 Chargers and 5-7 Redskins due at least in part to the conferences that each team plays in? The NFC is decidedly the stronger of the two conferences this year, with a .574 winning percentage (27-20) vs. the AFC this year. The Redskins are 1-1 vs. the AFC this year with a convincing win over the Raiders and a thisclose loss at Kansas City. The Chargers lost a close one to the Eagles, won in New York and smoked the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. I’m not sure how that stacks up exactly but it’s worth throwing in the mix to consider.
Home field disadvantage? Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen told reporters on a conference call earlier this week that the Chargers don’t really have a home-field advantage in the 32,000-seat StubHub Center. The question is, will the Redskins seize the crowd advantage. There were plenty of Redskins fans in the LA Coliseum earlier this year for the win over the Rams. Perhaps they will show up in force again today. Several thousand Redskins fans and a few big plays for Washington could get the venue rocking in favor of the visiting team.
Chargers have advantages: Regardless of the conference rivalries and stadium noise factors, the Chargers have the edge over the Redskins in many key areas. The best quarterback, running back, wide receiver, offensive line (given the Redskins’ injuries there) and edge rushers will be wearing Chargers blue. Sure, Kirk Cousins, Josh Doctson, and Ryan Kerrigan are capable of big games. As they say, that’s why they play the games.
How the Redskins can win:
- Balance the offense: The Redskins have to pass well to win but they also need to mix in a healthy dose of an effective running game. San Diego is 31st in the NFL against the run so Samaje Perine could have a big day.
- Hold on to the ball: Their four turnovers against the Cowboys killed their chances of winning. On the season, they have turned the ball over 14 times in their losses, just six times in their wins.
Prediction: This is a winnable game for the Redskins if Trent Williams and Morgan Moses, both listed as questionable, can play and be effective against Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. Cousins needs to have a big day and, as noted above, Perine needs to get going, too. But I’m going to go with the Chargers here. Just too many ifs against a team that has better players at so many important positions.
Chargers 24, Redskins 20
Tandler on Twitter
Hooray for... pic.twitter.com/VRbscyoplH— Rich Tandler (@TandlerNBCS) December 9, 2017
In case you missed it
- A look back at the week in hot takes on Kirk Cousins
- Casserly on containing the Chargers pass rush
- What do the next 4 games mean for Kirk Cousins?
- Casserly on how to stop the Chargers offense